Drone-shooting, rakes, life hacking, self-development and a photographer / videographer career: a new podcast “GLPH”

    This is a program with those who write, edit, take photos, videos and manage the creation of content. Here we discuss professional development and life hacking for professionals.

    Today we present to your attention a text transcript of the second podcast release [the first one about the IT edition of a new type is here ], in which Vadim Shcherbakov , a professional aero videographer, photographer and independent art director, agreed to talk with us .

    We discussed the progress of Vadim's career and his approaches to self-development:

    In the photo: Vadim Shcherbakov, professional aero-videographer, photographer and independent art director.
    This podcast is prepared by the GLPH.Media team. We make content for companies and PR agencies. Difficult topics and longrids for corporate blogs, online magazines, technology publications and the media - this is us.

    Contact information: Telegram and email .

    dmitrykabanov : Usually they ask how much you earn or how many hours a week you work. I want to talk about what your workflow consists of.

    You are doing aerial video and architecture photography - can you tell the background, how did you come to this? I remember you from a very old Dribbble-mitap 2013, which was held in the “Work Station” near Gorky Park.

    Q: If you remember, then I acted as an art director, talked about interactive design, which I still do. In parallel, I am doing what I want to switch completely - shooting, photo and video. This is architecture , landscape and cityscape .

    D: How was this transition made? Is he still coming? It turns out that all this time you worked and now you work as an independent specialist?

    Q: Yes. And then, and now, and in the future, I want to work independently. We are not talking about opening a company of our own, but about absolute freelancing - then and now.

    If we talk about photos, videos and drone shooting, I started shooting more than 10 years ago. He started, like everyone else, with a film camera, but quickly switched to a “number”. I remember my first Canon cameras. I use them so far. For a long time I was shooting everything like everyone else. Literally: what I see, I take it off. It turned out terribly, it is not even discussed.

    D: It was more your hobby: interesting gadgets, film cameras?

    Q: Yes, film, then digital. But it turned out badly.

    Then I was visited by a “brilliant idea”: the more I buy expensive machinery and equipment, the better my photos and videos will become. It was an idiotic idea that did not materialize. As a result, I bought ND-filters, lenses, new cameras, but continued to be at the same level of skill. I did not understand what the problem was.

    D: Can you say how much money you spent to understand that you need to get out of creative stagnation using skill, rather than expensive technology?

    Q: I'm afraid I don’t remember now. It was a long time and lasted about three years. It seemed to me that with the transition to the “figure” the photos became better, and I wanted more.

    I thought that this “more” would grow with a new lens, a new ND filter, a new kind of gadget that I do not even know how to use. This mistake makes very many.

    I can’t say the exact figure, because I don’t remember how much, then, for example, the Canon EOS 350D cost. This led me to buy expensive items, but the quality did not get better.

    Why this happened, I realized only later. Because of this, I completely stopped shooting. For three years, he completely abandoned the photo. It was very good for me. If I continued to shoot, not understanding what I was doing wrong, would continue to build up the arsenal, I would be completely disillusioned with the photo and not engaged in it now.

    D: Still, one of the drawbacks of independent work is the lack of people you can approach and ask for advice. How did you get out of this situation?

    Q: Lack of people is only part of the problem. I also had no information on how to shoot correctly. Professional content on YouTube then plainly was not.

    So I decided to stop, exhale and continue to work - then I worked in the film industry. As a result, the situation resolved itself.

    I took a breath, went to Iceland, and everything changed. Even with the minimum amount of equipment in Iceland, I got pictures a million times better than they were before.

    I just realized that I wanted to shoot: not people and animals, but landscapes.

    And I wanted to understand how to do it right.

    D: How to prepare for a trip of this level?

    Q: There was no preparation then. We traveled to Iceland as tourists. It was simple: “Oh, we are going to Iceland, cool. We must take more clothes. ” Now it is - is another matter.

    I think not about the quantity of clothes, but about how much equipment to take, how to fit it. Then I went with things and a camera with a single lens. Now I take two cameras or two drons, many lenses, and the remaining space is for things. Completely different approaches.

    When I came back, it became clear that the pictures turned out better than those that I did before. Therefore, I began to act. I bought more photo magazines that talk about how to shoot. I watched more tutorials where people showed step by step how and what to do. I was so ignorant that I didn’t even know some basic things like “ Golden hour ”, “ Blue hour ”.

    Then I thought that creating an interactive design until old age would be quite difficult. Few people will hire a seventy-year-old art director, and nobody cares about the age of a good photographer or videographer - whether it's nine or ninety years old.

    In the end, it all came together. I realized that I want to devote this [photo and video] most of the time and smoothly move from one freelance to another. For this, I began to watch more tutorials, study materials specifically about composition photography, find out when, how and what to shoot. It began to grow like a snowball, and led me to the existing level.

    D: What did you do with the first materials that you thought were of sufficient quality to put up for sale? Who were the first customers? What are you hooked them?

    What stood out among the rest?

    Q: There were no customers for very long. The first photos that I began to produce were for myself and for the portfolio. Now I do not even know where these pictures are.

    The first clients began to appear when I started shooting from a drone, composite and time blending shooting . It was not so long ago, and I walked toward it more slowly than I would like.

    I just began to lay out my work on the drains: Creative Market, iStockphoto and others. There are no secrets here, all the drains are known and can be counted on fingers. But I have one feature. Usually the clients themselves find me through my portfolio and films.

    Therefore, the release of drone films was for me the right step. He has become my tool for development and sales. For example, I was accidentally found by American Airlines and asked to use one fragment. I do not know how they found me.

    My movie was posted only on YouTube and Vimeo. It turns out that if a drone film is gaining enough popularity, studios can find it and pay attention.

    A recent case, through a drone film, was found by Pro Film, which made a video for VTB.

    I also exhibit my films at Aerial Entertainment Studios (AES). This service was created by an American who lives in Hong Kong. AES occupies a certain niche in the market - it sells videos to large foreign film studios: Warner Bros., Fox, MGM and so on. This service has one drawback - 80% of requests are placed on the shooting of American locations. This is understandable: all films, TV shows are most often filmed there.

    Therefore, more often they buy either neutral things: a span over the mountains or a lake without being tied like “a span over the lake of Michigan”, or specific thematic things that are simply not to be found. For example, the series “ Homeland ” ordered the shooting of Moscow. They needed a video in which you seemed to take off on an airplane.

    D: I would like to ask about the equipment. You say that the tasks are very different. For example, today you need to fly on the drone of one category, tomorrow - to fly in another country on another equipment. What are the nuances and potential risks here, including the regulation that operates in Europe and has recently appeared with us?

    Q: Any equipment can be rented, so I don’t bother much. For example, I have a client from India, where it is forbidden to fly on drones, import and export them until December 1st. Therefore, I know that I will not take my arsenal. The client himself rents the equipment already in place. For this particular shoot, DJI Phantom 4 Pro will suffice.

    For filming, I only have DJI Mavic and Phantom 4 for my personal needs. Everything else I can rent. And on the trip, I take either both drones or nothing.

    If we talk about photographic equipment, then everything depends on the task. I take one or two cameras and a set of lenses on trips. Like many other photographers, I chose my “line” of lenses for permanent use. Plus, I have several lenses from partners that I should and want to take with me. Therefore, I usually take a full arsenal, plus or minus one lens.

    D: In those photos that you post, I noticed that you have a cool home studio. Workplace is an important thing, when you do not just produce one unit of content per month or every six months you go on a trip, but you try to work at a pace, even taking into account the difference in tasks. What do you think about this?

    Q: Changes help me. Therefore, I am not one hundred percent gone from interactive design. Almost no one knows about this, but even when I worked in interactive design, I also made interactive applications. I like to switch between different tasks.

    While I do one thing, I forget a little about the other. It's easier for me to work. A fresh look at things appears. For example, today I’m filming, tomorrow I’m doing some kind of project, the day after tomorrow, something else and so on. Most of all, the routine kills me, and the change of activity always cheered me up and rescued me.

    In the photo: Vadim's office ( short video on Facebook)

    My office (studio) is my outlet. I used to have something like that. I worked in more “accounting” offices. This is me. I am a representative of the creative profession. Therefore, the workplace must also be creative. For example, by a fashion designer, it is immediately obvious that he is a fashion designer. And with photographers to some extent the same.

    D: Anyway, when projects grow and become more difficult, you have to interact with industry colleagues or “techies” who help set up equipment or catch the right angle. Do you have a team?

    Q: I try to always count on my strength.

    D: But are there a few people in the credits?

    Q: Yes, but these people do not help me with technical issues. For example, I often go to the shooting with my wife. She is also passionate about this business and really helps me to shoot. Sometimes I “take off” and ask her to shoot. She notices that I can not see, offers new bold ideas and perspectives. It happens that her "footage" buy faster than mine.

    But I still try to do only those projects with which I can cope alone. Because I want to have complete control over what is happening. I have assistants with whom we develop the architectural business. These people do the same job as me. Someone makes a sound, someone makes a video, but this is a common task. Together or three it can be solved faster.

    D: How many hours a day do you work?

    Q: I find it difficult to determine what work is. In fact, I work, even when I go to Instagram. Therefore, work with me almost always. I have no children, I am free enough. My wife is also a freelancer, she is always with me. Therefore, I do not distribute time between family and work, it flows smoothly from one to another.

    D: Everything happens naturally. So, as you used to for many years.

    Q: Yes, but sometimes I recycle. Then I stop and do almost nothing for a few days. I usually have everything in harmony, and the work is distributed almost for the whole day.

    D: Let's talk about the content with which you work. You mentioned magazines, tutorials. What else is in your field? What you need to know, what to pay attention to and what is better to look to understand the industry, to learn about trends and new techniques?

    Q: I define all this by the term "conspiracy." And this is my main advice. This is necessary not to copy, but to understand what is happening in the industry. What not to do, where and how to look for new ways. Therefore, “abundance” is a big plus for a person who works in any industry.

    I advise any online resources that promote photography. These are Pexels, Fstoppers, Skypixel (for drones) or any other community you find. The main thing is to put really good photos in them. If you want to send your work to contests and drone festivals - watch the work that won there.

    About the techniques of shooting photos and videos - all the information can be found on YouTube. With drones more difficult. There is not yet a single tutorial on how the person first opens the box, before he rents the film to the client or sends it to the festival.

    All information needs to be searched separately: starting with how to launch the drone, to the number of frames per second for a particular survey. I’ve been thinking about creating a detailed guide for a long time and maybe sometime I’ll release it.

    D: How do professional media work with content in this industry? How do they interact with the authors? Do they just write to you that they like your material, take it for themselves and pay the fee? Or do you agree with them to cooperate on an ongoing basis, as columnists do? Or something else?

    Q: You need to send your photos and videos to large stocks yourself. This material is now so much that no one will come to you. There are many microstocks (for example, Asian ones) that can see the film and offer cooperation. Large resources do not.

    There is image media. They find you themselves, but do not pay for posting photos. They can pay a fee for an article or tutorial, but the main advantage of such cooperation is building a brand. The remaining customers are single purchases.

    In my case, American Airlines became such a client. They do not need permanent flights over the conditional city or mountain. They come every 2-3 years for some unique content. There is no such that they are willing to cooperate with one author on an ongoing basis. They work with global content companies.

    If such companies do not have what they need, they turn to the authors.

    D: Still, in such a model, the request for the level of creativity is always higher. It doesn't matter how you do things with equipment or health. You either show the product or not.

    Q: Exactly. Moreover, the videographer must understand not only the shooting, but also know what to do with the footage. You have to show yourself. To do this, you can release a unique video, but to get noticed and bought what you did, you need a high level.

    Therefore, it is important to invest not only in travel, but also in the subsequent processing and promotion of your product. This is a global task, but it is quite feasible.

    Notes to this release:

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